Justice T.G Ringim of Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State has sent one Chikere Felix Ibeawuchi to prison over land fraud worth over five million naira.
Ibeawuchi was arraigned before the court by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC on one count charge bordering on obtaining by false pretence to the tune of N5,500.000, (Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira only).
According to EFCC, the defendant allegedly sold a parcel of land situated at Plot No.738 Uratta West layout, Owerri, Imo State at the cost of N5, 500, 000.00 to the complainant in May 2017.
The commission further said the defendant also issued the Power of Attorney which was not duly registered in the state Ministry of Lands and Survey to the complainant.
The complainant later found out he was duped when some group of people disrupted and chased him and the workers out of the property while working there, alleging that they are the rightful owner of the said land and warned him to stop further work on the property.
The complainant told the commission that after informing the defendant about the incident, he was assured the situation was going to be resolved, but the promise was neither kept nor his money refunded.
The charge against the defendant reads:
“ That you Chikere Felix Ibeawuchi on or about the 25th of May, 2017 in Owerri within the jurisdiction of this honourable Court obtained the sum of Five Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira from one Okey Orubele under the pretence that you are the owner of plot No. 738 Uratta West layout, Owerri Imo State which pretence you knew is false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act. “
Ibeawuchi, whose counsel did not turn up for his arraignment pleaded not guilty to the charge.
However, the presiding Judge, Justice Ringim adjourned the matter to January 14, 2020, for hearing.
He subsequently ordered the defendant to be remanded in the custody of a Correctional Centre.